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Coach Holgorsen embraces new roles in spring practice

Coach Holgorsen addressed the media Tuesday along with his assistant coaches and several players. As has been the trend for the head coach since the start of last season, Coach Holgorsen continues to embrace his spot in the Mountaineer football program.

With Coach Jake Spavital returning to West Virginia, Holgorsen now has a greater amount of time on his hands, leaving room to embrace new roles within his team. “I run around. I am a referee, I am the special teams coach, I’m a weatherman, I’m a caddy on the golf cart. Get recruits and throw them in the back, run them around, talk to them a little bit when they are here. That’s what I do. Referee, now that’s fun. Mediator.” Now that Spavital will be taking over the role of play caller, Holgorsen finds himself with more time on his hands. Perhaps this will lead to a calmer, less caffeinated head coach, as he has been known to have a hot temper and Red Bull running through his veins.

Speaking on the coach’s illustriously known hot temper and new role as referee, Holgorsen was asked about refereeing himself as the NCAA has recently amended its rules to allow coaches to be removed mid-game. “No, I’m not going to do that anymore, I don’t want to get thrown out of the game. I know the new rules. I am practicing putting myself in their shoes. Right?” Coach Holgorsen seems to be taking on a new mentality this spring, more calm, less outbursts. Is the Red Bull next to go on his list?

Coach Holgorsen also joked with the media about his players changing like the weather, “They are very similar. They last change hourly. That’s a pretty good comparison right there honestly. This weather has changed eight times over the eight hours and these 18-22 year old kids change somewhere in the neighborhood of one time an hour.” The tone of the head coach on this late March day was significantly more jovial than we have seen in years past.

When asked about his injured players, the head coach did not divulge much information on them, ending his statement on injured players with “I’m not talking about any of those guys that don’t do anything for us right now.” The head coach did announce that redshirt freshman offensive linemen Jacob Buccigrossi tore his ACL this week. Holgorsen admitted this was a tough break for Buccigrossi as he missed last spring’s practice with a shoulder issue.

Coach Holgorsen has focused on adding depth to the team’s spring practices this year. The head coach said the team is adding 15 more guys in May and another ten in July. As of right now, it seems the focus is on just having enough players to line up and simply practice.

On the same line as needing guys to practice, Coach Holgorsen is not afraid of repping as many players as possible. “Every spring you are going to rep guys that aren’t going to get a whole lot of snaps in the fall. That’s everywhere. You can’t get too bent out of shape about repping some guys that you know aren’t going to play. You have to kind of piece it together to where you are getting the totality of the reps. Quarterbacks are snapping the ball, they are communicating in the huddle. I have been happy with our o-line as far as being physical and holding up and getting a lot of reps. (Redshirt senior offensive lineman) Grant (Lingafelter) has looked decent. We have a certain amount of snaps that we know we have to get to, to be able to gather the cutups and all that good stuff. We are on our way towards getting that done.”

The battle for center position was going well until Buccigrossi tore his ACL. The team will now reopen the center battle, “Now we’re back to square one. We’ll rep (redshirt junior offensive lineman) (Ray) Raulerson, we’ll try to figure out who the next one is. We felt like we had a good second and third competition going on right there but now we’re back to square one. (Redshirt sophomore offensive lineman) Matt Jones looks good. He’s probably the surprise of spring.” Injuries are a tough issue to overcome, but it is better to be happening now as opposed to the first week of the season. Time will surely help in determining who lines up at center come September.

Coach Holgorsen is enjoying the competition and skill the Mountaineers currently have with the running backs. According to the coach, “Yes, we got good competition. I wish we had that kind of competition at every one of the other positions, because it makes that a lot more fun to watch.” Between Justin Crawford, Kennedy McCoy, Martell Pettaway and newcomer Tevin Bush, the running backs will be exciting to watch this fall.

Coach Holgorsen is embracing his time away from play calling and excelling in his role this spring. As the team practices and prepares for a season that will be here before we know it, Coach Holgorsen prepares for his new role away from play calling.


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